Monday, August 29, 2016

Cyber (public) secrets...

Today, one year ago...

As known as something that is supposed to be kept a secret but everybody knows it, even if the tittle says that the secret is safe and sound. This is what we call a public secret and we can find them in cyber security field. If we cast our minds back we discover that August 2015 was a special date for these public secret that were known by almost everybody.


One of them is the announcement of the powerful Google about its browser Chrome would no longer offered Flash content, a not much appreciated technology by other but Adobe lived as it never would affect them. "It is over" they said from Mountain View. If your ads are not in hands of a big platforms or HTML5 you would never see them again. We all know that, sooner or later, it would happen but "when" was not defined.

Another public secret is the reliability of antivirus companies. Who has not heard that virus are created by themselves just to offer their own solutions? Beyond these conspiracy theories, two ex-workers from Kaspersky made a mess reporting that their old company had generated false positives: competitors identified important files as malignant. It is translate as a wasted investment in effort and loss of customers. 

August 2015 was also related to reputation. In a podcast recorded at Black Hat USA 2015, Hautam Aggarwal, Chief Marketing Officer at Bay Dynamics, analyzed this issue: the reduction of technical content in the World Summit of Cybersecurity and how security breaches affect the reputation of the companies: their market and the market confidence.

And more public secrets: we have all thought that more than one exchange transaction is suspected of not legitimate behavior. If we follow this title from one year ago we discover that it is not needed a great ingenuity to defraud. A fraudster created Whatsapp groups with investors and was continually changing names and users. He motivated users to invest in securities and, when it was big enough, the fraudster sold participations and collected the profits.

Most secrets are related with vulnerabilities that are present in almost every platform, although there are users still thinking that nothing will happen to their equipment. For example: apple devices don't get viruses. A year ago, a malware designed for Mac (it had been patched by the apple`s company in the OS X update) faced up to the company mocking at it: the entire malware code of the fitted in a tweet.

When something is well known by "everybody", even it is no official, it must be taken into account. As it is said: where there is smoke there is fire. Something that was true a year ago and even now.


Image: Freeimages.

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